Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI, Thursday notes
Here are some notes from the paddock at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, on Thursday of Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI.
It was a remarkable crowd size for a Thursday. The number of fans and enthusiasts flocking to Monterey only stands to grow the rest of the weekend.
Porsche reveals new 935
Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing and Mark Webber, Porsche brand ambassador, introduced two new cars on Thursday. One took the cake as the reveal of the day.
After an initial introduction of the Porsche Speedster Concept, von Platen and Webber moved onto a stunning new Porsche – the Porsche 935. It pays homage to the 935’s “Moby Dick” 935/78 nickname past, and is based off the 911 GT2 RS. Just 77 units will be produced for this new model.
“This spectacular car is a birthday present from Porsche Motorsport to fans all over the world,” says Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars. “Because the car isn’t homologated, engineers and designers didn’t have to follow the usual rules and thus had freedom in the development.”
Bernhard, Webber reminisce
Webber and Timo Bernhard took the stage for a question and answer session in the media center Thursday afternoon. Webber is now a Porsche brand ambassador, as he ended his driving career at the end of 2016. Bernhard, his past LMP1 teammate, recapped and relived the glory of his record lap at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo.
“The car was unleashed,” Bernhard said. “It didn’t have a fuel flow meter anymore. It had some different tires from Michelin which were extra grippy over the one lap. There was better acceleration, high speed, cornering… but it still felt like a 919.
“It was great to drive this car. The next stop is here. The guys will do a demo run… not a record run, but more to show this car on the track.”
Webber hasn’t driven the 919 Evo and has no plans to. He said he felt he’d need more time in the car, and wouldn’t need to get “sweaty” about driving it.
“The car’s in good hands with who has driven it,” he said.
Both drivers also hailed what Rennsport means.
“It’s traditional yet authentic. It’s real to the brand,” Webber said. “We love demonstrating our past, but we are also so keen on the future. It’s an honor to be here.”
Bernhard, who is at his third Rennsport, added: “There is just one brand that has such a rich heritage. You see how many top level Porsche Motorsport people are here. And everyone is approachable.”
Like father, like son
Here’s a special moment captured between Derek Bell and son Justin Bell ahead of today’s sessions. Justin Bell is driving a 1995 Porsche 962K8 Spyder this week. Derek Bell is here sitting in the Lowenbrau Porsche 962.
Like father, like son part two
Porsche doesn’t just have cars here. They also have tractors.
Witness this special moment here between WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil and son Cooper, who races in the WeatherTech-backed No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The elder MacNeil is wearing a specially designed by Stand 21 firesuit, adorned with “Farmer Dave” signage.